Electric grid

Expert Voices

Ride-hailing technology could make public buses more efficient

Illustration of roads in the shape of a penrose triangle
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Technology used in ride-hailing and other new mobility services could be used to make public bus networks more environmentally friendly and convenient.

Why it matters: Public buses are frequently criticized as unreliable, inefficient and alternatively near-empty or so full that they skip stops, but electric buses with next generation technology and flexible routes could help address congestion and emissions.

Expert Voices

Summer price spikes are a feature of Texas' power market, not a bug

electric transformers next to an office building
Transformers at an electrical substation in Houston. Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

Demand for air conditioning across Texas helped drive wholesale electricity prices to the market cap of $9,000/MWh earlier this week, testing both the grid's capacity and the public's response to price spikes under the state's wholesale electricity market.

The big picture: ERCOT, the grid operator for most of Texas, operates an “energy-only” market that pays power plants only when they produce energy, and not merely for being available to do so. Many ERCOT plants thus rely on high-priced scarcity events to stay profitable in the otherwise low-cost grid, where prices are kept down by cheap natural gas prices and, to a lesser extent, renewables.